Mary Tergesen, a longtime Rye resident, died on September 2, 2020 of Parkinson’s disease. She was 82 years old.
Born in 1937 in Endicott, N.Y., she was the eldest of George and Natalie Stets Emmons’ three children.
After graduating from The College of New Rochelle in 1959, she earned two master’s degrees.
In 1958, she met her future husband, Neil Tergesen, at a Princeton University dance. They married in 1963 and settled in Rye two years later.
Mrs. Tergesen began her career as a Latin teacher and guidance counselor at Harrison High School in the early 1960s. She paused her career to raise her family and became very active in the community. She served on the Parent Teacher Organization at Osborn School and was also a dedicated parishioner at Church of the Resurrection, where she helped start a home-based religious education program in the 1970s. Later, she served as a Eucharistic Minister and was a member of the Rye Women’s Interfaith Group.
Starting in 1982, she returned to work and held various positions at schools including The Harvey School in Katonah, N.Y. and Rye Middle and High schools. She attained her dream job teaching Latin, allowing her to share her love of the classics. In 2000, she retired from the Rye School District but continued to tutor students in Latin.
Mary Tergesen was a lifelong learner, who enjoyed reading and traveling and took summer courses and workshops in topics including spoken Latin.
She approached having Parkinson’s disease in the same manner she approached life, as something to learn from. She demonstrated courage, strength, and resilience and relied strongly on her faith to assist her throughout her life.
She loved spending time with her children, grandchildren, friends, and relatives.
In addition to her husband, Neil, she is survived by her four children, Anne, Kristine (KK), Louise (Didi), and Mark and their spouses; and her eight grandchildren. She is also survived by her sister, Anne Emmons Murphy, and her brother-in-law, Dr. E. Dennis Murphy, of Wilmette, Ill. She was predeceased by her brother, George Emmons, of Stamford, Conn.
A Memorial Mass was held September 8 at Resurrection Church in Rye.
Donations in Mary Tergesen’s memory can be made to the Rye Women’s Interfaith Group, c/o Janet Meyers, 57 High Point Circle, Rye Brook, NY 10573.